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Windows Networking/Windows 2008 R2 Server activation


Last year we bought a complete system Supermicro 2U Server with Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 64bit activated and updated.  This was from a refurbisher with a store on Ebay.

Apparently Microsoft has a system where you have to renew the license from year to year and we don't know how to do that because Microsoft would have no record of us having a volume license.  It appears that Microsoft would need the Agreement number for the licensing and the licensing key.  

We have contacted the seller, but what if I don't get an answer or sufficient information.  How do we interface with Microsoft so we can continue using this Operating System?

Hi Art.

That's a good question.  In this kind of case, is there any kind of sticker on the server itself?  The reason I ask is sometimes systems that are preloaded with the Operating System by default have the sticker attached (this might be have the licensing key on it).  If the vendor doesn't get back to you, I would prepare the receipt that you got from them and have that available for Microsoft.  I have had situations where we have a license for a particular product/PC/Server, but the hardware fails and we need to re-install, but Microsoft is typically understanding when it comes to re-installing due to hardware failure (in my experience).  In this case, if you are required to pay an annual maintenance fee and you tell them this is what you purchased, I would think that they would be on the lenient side and charge you annually going forward.

I hope that insight helps a bit.


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Hrire Mikaelian


Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7 workstation and Windows 2000/2003/2008 server networking, Group Policy and wireless configurations. Have knowledge about workstation Ghosting, and also the ins and outs of hardware troubleshooting.


15 years of experience as a hobbyist and Senior Systems Administrator

BA, BCom in Information Technology Management. No IT certifications. However, I have taken several Windows, Novell and Networking courses.

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